Bruce Summerhays had five birdies in a six-hole stretch and shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over RW Eaks.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
Cary:Bruce Summerhays had five birdies in a six-hole stretch and shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over RW Eaks, in the first round of the SAS Championship on the US PGA Champions Tour. Summerhays had seven birdies on the 7,177-yard and Prestonwood Country Club course in his best opening round of the year. "You always feel good when you play like this," Summerhays said. "The day started kind of bland and then I made a couple of good putts and got things rolling." Sole lead He parred the first seven holes then went on the run that produced five birdies over the next six holes. After a bogey at No. 16, Summerhays finished his round with two birdies. It was the first time in five years that Summerhays held sole possession of the lead after the first round. Scott Simpson, playing in his first Champions Tour event, and Bob Gilder, who won the last event two weeks ago, were tied for third with 68s. The last 15 Champions Tour events have had 15 different winners. Wonder round Eaks was even through 10 then had five birdies over his final eight holes. "I had a wonder round on the back nine," Eaks said. "My son Jeremy caddied for me and I needed some help reading the greens. He did that and it took a lot of pressure off me today. He's got much better eyes than me." Eaks said he recently changed putters and that has made a difference for him. He said he is using the same discontinued Ping model that Summerhays uses. "I took one stroke with it and he saw the glimmer in my eye," Eaks said. "He took it back and it took two weeks for the Ping folks to track one down." Good play Simpson, who turned 50 on September 17, and Bruce Fleisher, who had a 70, were the only players who finished without a bogey in the first round. "Some guys have played well when they first get out here and some didn't," said Simpson, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the 1987 US Open. "I'm happy with my day. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was good to see a lot of these guys again." Danny Edwards, who qualified Monday, and Hale Irwin, who has three wins this season, were among five golfers at 69. Defending champion Craig Stadler had a 71 that included an eagle on the par-5 17th. Charles Schwab Cup leader Dana Quigley opened with a 77. (AP)